GW16 was a strange one. At the end of Saturday’s play, 6 games down, there were only 10 goals scored and more clean sheets than anything else. With some pre xmas rest/rotation affecting many of our squads, we were left going into the remaining games with all to play for. Sunday didn’t quite to live up to expectations and once more the big hitters failed to deliver. It is fast becoming the season of the underdog.
So City got lucky with a late win against the rudderless Swans. Stoke-alona played out a bore draw with West Ham. Everton only managed a point with Norwich, Palace got a 1-0 win against the Saints while Watford continued their remarkable recent form with the same scoreline against Sunderland. Bournemouth go from strength to strength this week outplaying and beating a Man Utd side devoid of attacking intent. Arsenal left some in the tank but beat the hapless Villa 2-0. Liverpool and West Brom played out a 2-2 before Newcastle’s recent resurgence continued as they beat a much fancied Spurs side. And then on Monday Night Football Leicester incredibly won again to go back to the top of the table. Guess who scored the goals? Cant remember who they played!
In terms of FPL points Jack Butland was once again the stand out Keeper with the maximum bonus meaning he earned 11 points this GW. England’s no. 2 now sits atop the GK rankings from Gomes & Cech. In defence there were clean sheets for Palace, Watford, Stoke, West Ham & Arsenal and the top scoring defender this week was Watford’s Allan-Romeo Nyom who totalled 12 points by way of a clean sheet, assist and max bonus.
In midfield both Riyad Mahrez and Jordan Henderson top scored with 13 each after both scored & assisted a goal along with the inevitable bonus.
Up front the top scorer was not one of the usual suspects. Alexander Mitrovic finally got his season up and running with a goal and assist in the win vs spurs and in doing so was the top scoring fwd this GW with 11 points. Pete tried and failed with Mitrovic earlier in the season. Is now the time to bring him in? Right behind him were the usual marksmen namely Vardy, Ighalo and Lukaku who were all on the score sheet once again in this topsy turvy season.
How does this all affect the FFUK league?
Toby Glicher (1st) still sits proudly at the top of the table. It was an unspectacular GW for TG’s Wizards but his 56 points were largely thanks to Vardy, Mahrez, Ramsay, Lukaku & Cech. With a couple of injuries in his squad can Toby maintain his position at the summit?
Lester Deeble (2nd) & Paul Baker (3rd) were both thankful to their benches with Dann & Pieters respectively coming in for Kolarov who was dropped/rested/rotated (depending on your viewpoint) by Pellegrini. This was a major inconvenience to many managers who relied on the Serbian full back but it was certainly a test of our squads ahead of a xmas period when we must expect further rotation.
Yabah Turnbull (6th) continued his recent rise playing his AOA chip this week, his points were largely thanks to Ozil (c), Mahrez, Lukaku, Vardy, Ighalo & Gomes, all fine picks and seemingly fixture proof at the moment. Is Yabah the man to watch right now?
Top scorer in the Top 10 was this week awarded to Loz Kelly (9th) who played his bench boost and has now used all 3 of his chips with just his 2nd half season WC left. However with 2 out of 4 of his bench not playing at all it was never going to be easy. This was more than made up for by Nyoms points haul so although not a perfect bench boost it could have been a lot worse.
Further down Andy Craig (25th) top scored this GW with 78 points. Andy was thankful for Lukaku (c) in a week where most captain picks didn’t work out. Additional points from Butland, Cabaye & Mahrez didnt hurt either.
Duncan Galloway (41st) was unfortunately at the other end of the scale this week with the lowest points scored on Page 1. His 44 points were as a result of his failed captain pick of KDB who started on the bench unexpectedly before coming on towards the end of the game meaning just the solitary point. At least Mahrez, Vardy & Ighalo made the score somewhat respectable.
We have a quiet week now ahead of the weekend’s matches, where there are some fascinating match-ups, before we go into xmas overdrive. Make the most of these days. Enjoy them because once the xmas fixtures get going your feet wont touch the ground.